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DH's operation against illegal sale of alternative smoking products

HK

DH's operation against illegal sale of alternative smoking products
HK

HK

DH's operation against illegal sale of alternative smoking products

2024-06-21 20:01 Last Updated At:20:18

Taco seizes 6,000 illegal alternative smoking products in enforcement operation, issues warning on health risks and consequences of asps

The Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office (TACO) of the Department of Health (DH) today (June 21) conducted an enforcement operation against the illegal sale of alternative smoking products (ASPs). A heated tobacco device and a batch of 6 000 suspected ASPs were seized during the operation.

Through intelligence analysis and in-depth investigations, officers of the TACO today conducted a decoy operation by posing as customers to contact people suspected of selling ASPs illegally. In the operation, officers also initiated investigation against a 41-year-old man for suspecting of selling ASPs and possessing ASPs for commercial purposes. Charges will be laid against offender(s) when sufficient evidence is found.

The Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371) prohibits the promotion, manufacture, sale and possession for commercial purposes of ASPs. Offenders are subject to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

A spokesman for the DH said that the department will continue to take stringent enforcement action. The spokesman also cautioned against the use of any ASPs and stressed that these products contain amounts of nicotine similar to those of conventional cigarettes in order to sustain addiction. In addition, health hazards of long-term exposure to these new products are unknown. The Government appeals to smokers to quit smoking as early as possible for their own health and that of others. They are encouraged to call the DH's Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline on 1833 183. The hotline is operated by registered nurses and provides professional counselling services on smoking cessation. Information on smoking cessation can also be obtained from www.livetobaccofree.hk/en/index.html.

DH's operation against illegal sale of alternative smoking products  Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

DH's operation against illegal sale of alternative smoking products Source: HKSAR Government Press Releases

Unemployment and underemployment statistics for April - June 2024

According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for April - June 2024) released today (July 18) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.0% in April - June 2024, same as that in March - May 2024. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods.

Comparing April - June 2024 with March - May 2024, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) and underemployment rate in different industry sectors varied, but the magnitudes were generally not large.

Total employment increased by around 6 400 from 3 696 900 in March - May 2024 to 3 703 300 in April - June 2024. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 4 900 from 3 813 100 to 3 818 000.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 1 500 from 116 200 in March - May 2024 to 114 700 in April - June 2024. The number of underemployed persons in April - June 2024 was 44 500, about the same as that in March - May 2024 (44 700).

Commentary

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, said, "The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed low at 3.0% in April - June 2024, same as March - May 2024. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.2%. Total employment showed a slightly accelerated increase of 6 400 to 3 703 300, and the labour force increased further by 4 900 to 3 818 000. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 1 500 to 114 700."

The unemployment rates of the various sectors stayed low in general in April - June 2024, though showing diverse movements compared with the preceding three-month period.

Looking ahead, Mr Sun said, "The labour market should remain tight in the near term, alongside the ongoing economic growth."

In April - June 2024, the Labour Department (LD) recorded a monthly average of 72 512 vacancies from the private sector, representing a year-on-year decrease of 28.5% and a decrease of 6.7% over the average figure in March - May 2024.

On large-scale job fairs, the LD will organise the Re-employment Allowance Pilot Scheme Job Fair at the MacPherson Stadium in Mong Kok on July 30 and 31, 2024. Over 50 employers will participate, offering a large number of vacancies. Job-seekers may also make use of the LD’s online platforms, such as the Interactive Employment Service website, for obtaining more information on available vacancies.

Further information

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were compiled from the findings of the continuous General Household Survey.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organization. The employed population covers all employers, self-employed persons, employees (including full-time, part-time, casual workers, etc.) and unpaid family workers. Unemployed persons by industry (or occupation) are classified according to their previous industry (or occupation).

The survey for April - June 2024 covered a sample of some 26 000 households or 68 000 persons, selected in accordance with a scientifically designed sampling scheme to represent the population of Hong Kong. Labour force statistics compiled from this sample represented the situation in the moving three-month period of April to June 2024.

Data on labour force characteristics were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the sampled households.

Statistical tables on the latest labour force statistics can be downloaded at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/scode200.html). More detailed analysis of the labour force characteristics is given in the "Quarterly Report on General Household Survey" which is published four times a year. The latest issue of the report contains statistics for the quarter January - March 2024 while the next issue covering the quarter April - June 2024 will be available by end August 2024. Users can also browse and download this publication at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=B1050001&scode=200).

For enquiries about labour force statistics, please contact the General Household Survey Section (3) of the C&SD (Tel: 2887 5508 or email: ghs@censtatd.gov.hk).

Source: AI-generated images

Source: AI-generated images

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